The San Diego Padres made a historic move on Sunday, the first day of Major League Baseball’s free agency signing period by signing 16 year old Ethan Salas to a whopping $5.6 million contract. The deal makes Salas the recipient of the highest paid international signing bonus in the history of the game.
16-Year-Old Ethan Salas Becomes Highest-Paid Rookie in Major League Baseball
In a major win for the young player, Salas has been signed to a staggering $5.1 million contract with the New York Yankees. The move puts Salas at the top of the list for the highest international signing bonus, surpassing the previous record holder, Dominican Jackson Dominguez’s $5.1 million deal with the same team in 2019.
Salas is not the only Dominican player making waves in the world of Major League Baseball (MLB). Shortstop Felnin Celesten, touted as a five tool player, was signed by the Seattle Mariners for a generous $4.7 million signing bonus.
Cuban outfielder Brandon Meyer was signed by the New York Yankees for a hefty $4.4 million, thanks to his ability to play all three outfield positions. Meanwhile, Dominican outfielder Emmanuel Bonilla signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for a $4.1 million bonus, and Brailer Guerrero, another Dominican outfielder, agreed to a $3.7 million deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Philadelphia Phillies acquired Dominican shortstop Jesús Caba, who will receive a $3 million signing bonus. This series of transactions solidifies the strength and talent of international players in MLB.
MLB International Teams Market Kicks Off with First Day of Movement
The opening day of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) international team market saw a flurry of notable investments in promising young players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba.
Rayner Arias was signed by the San Francisco Giants for $2.8 million, Derniche Valdez joined the Cubs on a $2.7 million contract, and Robert Calaz was secured by the Rockies for $2.5 million.
Cuban slugger Ariel Castro also signed with the Twins for $2.5 million. These investments demonstrate MLB’s continued interest in talented international players.
A new batch of international talent was signed by Major League Baseball (MLB) teams on Sunday, including several players with ties to current or former MLB players.
From the Dominican Republic, Luis Almeyda joined the Orioles for $2.3 million, Camilo Díaz signed with the Astros for $2.5 million, and Gian Zapata was signed by the D-Backs for a $1.5 million bonus.
Venezuelan players Ludwig Espinoza and Yophery Rodriguez also made moves, signing with the Cubs ($1.5 million) and Brewers ($1.5 million), respectively, while Cristopher Larez signed with the Mets for the same amount.
In addition to these signings, family ties also played a role in the latest round of deals. Pablo Guerrero, son of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero and brother of Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., signed with the Rangers for a $100,000 signing bonus plus a $50,000 signing bonus.
Elian Soto, the younger brother of Washington Nationals player Juan Soto, also signed with the Nationals for a $225,000 signing bonus plus a $200,000 scholarship. These signings demonstrate the continued impact of family ties in MLB’s international market.